"He will spend whatever it takes to undermine the Times' standing as America's leading general-interest newspaper. But my real fear is that Murdoch or some other unsuitable purchaser will then buy the Times through a combination of financial and psychological pressures on the strong, but hardly ironclad, Sulzberger family trust that controls the vast majority of the company's voting stock. There is no more important question in American journalism than the future of the Times, and I don't think the newspaper or the journalistic profession is taking Murdoch in particular or the takeover issue in general seriously enough."It is hard to argue with Raines about the threat, but it is no one's fault but its own that The Times is not the newspaper that it once was -- much improved in some respects but so troubled in many others -- and it should be no more immune to the ongoing shakeout in the newspaper biz than any other publication.
Illustration by Robin Eley